The Dallas Cowboys put a lot of resources into building their defensive front this offseason. Veteran Gerald McCoy was arguably the key piece in those additions after signing a three-year, $18 million dollar deal in March, and was set to be the Cowboys starter at the 3-tech. Unfortunately, McCoy suffered a ruptured right quadriceps muscle on Monday, effectively ending his 2020 season.
This is a huge blow to the Cowboys defense, to say the least. However, unlike years past, the Cowboys are more equipped to handle such a loss with the bodies they have along the defensive front, and the opportunity for several to step in McCoy’s absence is front and center.
Tyrone Crawford, who had a great shot to be the starter at right defensive end opposite DeMarcus Lawrence, will now slide inside to take the reigns at the 3-tech which he has plenty of experience doing in the past. From 2015 to 2018 Crawford gave the Cowboys anywhere between four to 5.5 sacks before only playing in four games in 2019 due to hip issues, which he had surgically repaired in the offseason. His flexibility will be needed with McCoy out for the year and also his guidance for the younger guys along the defensive line.
Neville Gallimore, who was picked in the third round of the 2020 NFL Draft, was primarily looked at as the backup to Dontari Poe at the 1-tech. Now, he’ll have the opportunity to play with him at the 3-tech with his position flex. Gallimore’s quick feet, power, and non-stop motor will be needed even more to make up for the McCoy loss.
Rookie year Loading Up… @Path2Greatwork @dallascowboys pic.twitter.com/xNu8BbJsMa
He’s already receiving praise from the aforementioned Crawford who spoke about the rookie on Monday:
“Animal. I like him a lot. I think he’s got everything you need. He gets off the ball, he’s got power. He plays like a professional already and he acts like it as well. I feel like he’s got a huge future, a huge future with the Cowboys. I hope he just keeps his head down and works and does what he does, because he’s a beast.”
Maybe the most intriguing player with an opportunity to step up with McCoy out is 2019 second-round pick Trysten Hill. He struggled to make an impact only playing 121 snaps last season in seven games. Now, he’ll get a lot more opportunities to contribute as he’ll join Crawford and Gallimore to make a formidable three-man rotation at the 3-tech.
The Cowboys defense took a major hit losing McCoy on Monday. However, the talent they have to make up for it is there, it’s just a matter of them showing it when it counts.